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BERBERIS koreana

Image of Berberis koreana

Jesse Saylor

Family

Berberidaceae

Botanical Name

BERBERIS koreana

Plant Common Name

Korean Barberry

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Supplying four-season interest to temperate landscapes, the Korean barberry dazzles with pretty flowers, fruits and rich fall foliage. This semi-evergreen shrub is native to the Korean peninsula and Japan. Its bark is reddish brown and the twigs are densely armed with short spines in groups of one to five. These flattened spines look like tiny duck feet. This barberry also suckers from its base, making it rather difficult to manage.

The elliptical leaves are green. In mid-spring, pendulous clusters of yellow flowers dangle just below the leaves along branches. Tiny oval fruits ripen to bright red by mid-fall and then persist across the winter. The fall foliage color is late to develop, attaining shades of red to purple.

Korean barberry is amazingly tolerant of all soil types and textures as long as there is no waterlogging. It is also salt tolerant and responds well to pruning. Plant it in full to partial sun for best performance, but partial shade is okay. Use this shrub as an impenetrable hedge, mass planting, or screen. It'd also be a pretty addition to a foundation bed or mixed border. Cultivar 'Red Tears' produces an exceptional fruit display on slightly more arching branches.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Purple, Dark Green, Dark Red

  • Bark Color

    Sienna

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No